Herskovits PLLC represents participants in the financial services industry. We have advised clients in a wide range of matters, and our attorneys have experience before state and federal courts, regulatory bodies, and in various arbitration and mediation settings. Although we are a small firm, our size enables us to represent clients at affordable and predictable rates. Moreover, it provides us with the flexibility to represent clients with substantial claims. Our office is located in New York City, but we can at times provide legal counsel to individuals in Wilmington, Dover, Newark, Bear, Middletown, and the surrounding areas of Delaware, subject to admission pro hac vice. We are licensed to practice law in New York only and this webpage is for general informational purposes only.
Delaware "Blue Sky" Laws
At the federal level, the securities laws are administered and enforced by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC oversees broker-dealers, mutual funds, investment advisors, and other key participants in the financial services industry. If there is a violation of the securities laws, such as insider trading or accounting fraud, the SEC can bring an enforcement action or refer the case for criminal prosecution.
Although the SEC is the primary regulator and enforcer of the securities laws at the federal level, each state also has its own securities laws, called "Blue Sky" laws. In Delaware, the law is the Delaware Securities Act, and the Delaware Department of Justice is authorized to investigate and prosecute alleged violations of the securities laws. It also focuses on investor education because it believes that when investors understand the financial risks involved in volatile markets, these individuals are less likely to be victims of investment fraud.
Because of the complexities of the securities laws and the ability of a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration panel to issue enormous awards in securities disputes, it is advisable to have a qualified securities attorney handle these claims. For example, an arbitration panel in Wilmington held Respondents liable for $400,000 in compensatory damages, over $90,000 in interest, $55,000 in attorneys' fees, $11,000 in costs, and $1,200,000 in treble damages. [In the Matter of the FINRA Arbitration Between William J. Pickert, Claimant, v. McLaughlin, Piven, Vogel Securities, Inc., Respondents (FINRA Arbitration 06-04088, February 8, 2008)].
In the above proceeding, Claimant requested damages based on violation of the Delaware Consumer Fraud statute, violations of the securities laws, fraud, breach of contract, and other causes of action. Claimant alleged that Respondents performed numerous unauthorized trades and impermissibly transferred securities and bonds from his account. Respondents also brought a third-party claim against Ameritrade, alleging that it was not authorized to open an account in Claimant's name, and it improperly transferred Claimant's bonds into the account. Although the arbitration panel found Respondents liable for the above-listed damages, it found Ameritrade liable as well and ordered it to pay fifty percent of the damages.
Herskovits PLLC Can Help You Navigate Federal and State Securities Laws
If you are involved in a state or federal securities matter, you should contact a skilled securities attorney. At Herskovits PLLC, our attorneys have decades of collective experience in numerous securities matters, and our managing partner has handled over 200 FINRA arbitrations with an impressive track record of success.
Although we are located in New York, we can represent clients in states across the country. If you need assistance with a securities matter or would like to find out more about our firm, please contact us at 212.897.5410. You may also fill out our contact form, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.